Adam Graser is a native east Texan that lives in the country with his wife and golden retriever, Isabel.
Adam Graser is the host of the Photography In Depth Podcast. New episodes are posted weekly (usually on Sunday mornings.)
How do you use your own creativity?
I love reading, writing, photography, and music. These are some of the things that allow me to satisfy my need to be creative, and if what I do pleases someone else; move and inspire them, then I’ve done it right.
What happens when you’re creative?
I get into this zone, I guess, and think about this new idea. It consumes me. I will start writing things down, which lead to more ideas and things to work out. I will plan, draw, list… sometimes the idea will flesh out easily, sometimes i ‘ll run into a dead end and I will have to figure out a way to solve the problem. Sometimes all of this will go on for a couple days.
I didn’t know all this was called creative “flow” defined and researched by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian psychologist. It was awesome to find out that this crazy feeling was normal for people creating. And now that I know what’s happening, I can use it to my advantage and also know that there’s nothing wrong with me.
Creativity seems to be such a vague topic on the surface so I started studying. The more I studied, the more I understood how it works. The science behind creativity is fascinating. I wanted to learn ways that can help enhance the process of my creativity…to make it work better for me. I wanted to understand the process.
Not only is creativity used in the arts, but how we live life everyday; at home, at work. It’s used to help us survive, to succeed, and to advance. We solve problems, come up with new products, ways to make money, to help others. Creativity makes the world grow.
Because I can’t draw or paint very well! Photography is an outlet for me to show the world who I am through my images. It challenges me on the technical, visual, creative, and even on a social level. It is something that I feel I have to do. Creativity and photography (all arts for that matter,) are dynamic.
It's a journey, and the journey ends at a place where you have done it all, seen it all, and know it all. I’ll never reach that destination- no one ever gets there…it's more about the journey, not the destination. It's about the places you stop along the way, finding inspiration, learning, experimenting, the people you meet and the connections you make.
Where are you in your journey?
I'm not done learning by any means, but I'm at a place where I have to stop worrying so much about the technical side, and trying to get that one perfect image, ya know? But to work on making bodies of work-that will further help define me- my ideas, and emotions... to work on whole projects rather than just hoping for a couple of good shots … it's about working to something cohesive and complete; something that matters and has my voice within it.
Advice for new photographers?
The best advice I can give any photographer that is relatively new is learn basic theory behind exposure, depth of field, and composition, then learn the settings on your camera that control exposure. Learn these things inside and out. Know these things so well that you almost don’t have to think about the settings, the knobs, and controls too much. When you find a scene to capture and you have an interpretation of how you want to capture and present it to your viewer, you won’t get bogged down or frustrated trying to get your camera to do what it is you want.
What genres do you shoot?
I love shooting a little of everything. I think trying new genres makes you a better photographer- each genre has its tricks and I look for ways I can use that someplace else so that I can keep my images fresh. This thinking of not nailing down a certain genre like portraits, landscape, or street… is a little out of the norm. By the books, you should have a solid handle of a genre and stick to it. Well, my genre is light and shadow, how they work together, how they contrast, how they make me feel, and how I can use the two to show what I see is beautiful in my subject. Any subject.
I love photography - I've had many other hobbies throughout the years, but photography has stuck with me. It draws me in. The very act of photographing something seriously excites me.
I'm not hung up on the most expensive or latest gear, or heavy into the technical side of cameras. I'm into getting what I see in real life through the lens and then in front of viewers eyes so that maybe they can experience what I did.
To me, its all about seeing something beautiful and capturing it, creating something and presenting it to the whomever will look at it.